I was fortunate enough to meet with Apple this past week on a trip to the Bay Area. In my visit I learned of the web application team and specifically the WebKit team within Apple. This is a dedicated team to developing and furthering the progress of the WebKit technology that forms the backbone of Apple's Safari browser, Mail client, and Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch browsers, among others.
One of the unique features of this group is the fact that it is one of the few open source teams within the Apple umbrella. They are working in the code base with developers from around the world driving the next versions of the products and technologies to be included in the WebKit open source project. Any of us can go to webkit.org to contribute to the project, download source code, or play with nightly builds. This is one place where we can actually see a 'product roadmap' for what Apple will be including in their products in the future.
Some of the cool features that we should be able to see in an early phase from the nightly builds are things like:
- Embedded browser database for occasionally connected data access
- Expressiveness in transitions - basically browser based Flash-like transitions
- Downloadable fonts
- Inline CSS editing
- Full support for SVG
Very cool stuff! You can also follow the threads at two blogs related to WebKit development at http://webkit.org/blog/ aka SurfinSafari.